Persian Literature in India

Persian literature and language came to India with the Ghaznavids and the Ghurids. The age of the rule of Khalji Dynasty was a great period for Persian literature in India, the two outstanding personalities of the time being Amir Khusrau and Shaikh Najmuddin Hasan, popularly known as Hassan­-i-Dihlavi.

Amir Khusrau was a prolific writer whose five literary master pieces are

  • Khamsah composed as a rejoinder to those of Nizami were Mutla-ul-Anwar,
  • Stirin Khusrau,
  • Laila Majnun,
  • Aina-i-­Sikandari and
  • Hasht Bihisht.

Amir Khusrau’s writings have great historical value. His Khaza-in-ul-Futuh de­scribes Alauddin’s conquests. The Tuglaq-Nama presents the rise of Ghiyasuddin Tuglaq. The Miftah-ul-Futuh gives an account of Jalaluddin Khalji’s victories and the Nuh-Sipihr contains a poetic description of Qutbuddin Mubarak Shah Khalji’s reign and describes it admiring tones things found in India. Hasan-i-­Dehlvi wrote ghazals that won him the name of ‘Saadi’ of India. Historians of note adorned the court of Mohammed bin Tuglaq. Diyauddin Barani is a famous historian.

The Mughal Empire brought a new era in Indo­-Persian literature and language. Babur wrote his biography, Tuzk-e-Baburi in Turkish which was later translated into Persian language by Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana. Tuzk-e-Babari is also known as Memoirs of Babur.

Humayuns sister Gulbadan Begum was a prose-writer who wrote Hurmayun Nama.

In the reign of Akbar several poets came from Persia to his court. Outstanding historical works were written:

  • Abul Fazl’s Akbarnama and Ain-i-Akbari,
  • Mulla Nizamu­ddin Ahmad Harawi’s Tabaqut-i-Akbari and
  • Abdul Haq Dehlavi’s Dhikr-ul-Mulak.

Then came Mughal Emperor Jahangir (Salim) who wrote Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri;  Masum Bhakkari’s Tarikh-i-Sind and Malik Haidar’s Tarik-i-Kash­mir.

Shah Jahan’s reign is described in the Padshah ­Namah of Abdul Hamid Lahori and Mohammad Waris, and in Shah Jahan Namah by Muhammad Salih Kanbo.

Aurangzeb was a great scholar whose mastery over the Persian language is well-known. Agil Khan Razi’s Zafar Namah-i-Alamgiri, Mirza Mohammad Kazim’s Alamgir Namah, Bhimsena’s Dailkusha are historical works pertaining to Aurangzeb’s rule.

Dara Shikoh did much to harmonize Hindu and Islamic religious ideals. His Sirr-i-Akbar contains a Persian rendering of fifty-two Upanishads.

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